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The fruit of the date palm: its possible use as the best food for the future?
Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2003 Jul; 54(4):247-59.IJ

Abstract

The fruits (dates) of the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) contain a high percentage of carbohydrate (total sugars, 44-88%), fat (0.2-0.5%), 15 salts and minerals, protein (2.3-5.6%), vitamins and a high percentage of dietary fibre (6.4-11.5%). The flesh of dates contains 0.2-0.5% oil, whereas the seed contains 7.7-9.7% oil. The weight of the seed is 5.6-14.2% of the date. The fatty acids occur in both flesh and seed as a range of saturated and unsaturated acids, the seeds containing 14 types of fatty acids, but only eight of these fatty acids occur in very low concentration in the flesh. Unsaturated fatty acids include palmitoleic, oleic, linoleic and linolenic acids. The oleic acid content of the seeds varies from 41.1 to 58.8%, which suggests that the seeds of date could be used as a source of oleic acid. There are at least 15 minerals in dates. The percentage of each mineral in dried dates varies from 0.1 to 916 mg/100 g date depending on the type of mineral. In many varieties, potassium can be found at a concentration as high as 0.9% in the flesh while it is as high as 0.5% in some seeds. Other minerals and salts that are found in various proportions include boron, calcium, cobalt, copper, fluorine, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, sodium and zinc. Additionally, the seeds contain aluminum, cadmium, chloride, lead and sulphur in various proportions. Dates contain elemental fluorine that is useful in protecting teeth against decay. Selenium, another element believed to help prevent cancer and important in immune function, is also found in dates. The protein in dates contains 23 types of amino acids, some of which are not present in the most popular fruits such as oranges, apples and bananas. Dates contain at least six vitamins including a small amount of vitamin C, and vitamins B(1) thiamine, B(2) riboflavin, nicotinic acid (niacin) and vitamin A. The dietary fibre of 14 varieties of dates has been shown to be as high as 6.4-11.5% depending on variety and degree of ripeness. Dates contain 0.5-3.9% pectin, which may have important health benefits. The world production of dates has increased 2.9 times over 40 years, whereas the world population has doubled. The total world export of dates increased by 1.71% over 40 years. In many ways, dates may be considered as an almost ideal food, providing a wide range of essential nutrients and potential health benefits.

Authors+Show Affiliations

London Metropolitan University, Department of Health & Human Sciences, London, UK.No affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

12850886

Citation

Al-Shahib, Walid, and Richard J. Marshall. "The Fruit of the Date Palm: Its Possible Use as the Best Food for the Future?" International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, vol. 54, no. 4, 2003, pp. 247-59.
Al-Shahib W, Marshall RJ. The fruit of the date palm: its possible use as the best food for the future? Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2003;54(4):247-59.
Al-Shahib, W., & Marshall, R. J. (2003). The fruit of the date palm: its possible use as the best food for the future? International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 54(4), 247-59.
Al-Shahib W, Marshall RJ. The Fruit of the Date Palm: Its Possible Use as the Best Food for the Future. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2003;54(4):247-59. PubMed PMID: 12850886.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - The fruit of the date palm: its possible use as the best food for the future? AU - Al-Shahib,Walid, AU - Marshall,Richard J, PY - 2003/7/10/pubmed PY - 2003/10/8/medline PY - 2003/7/10/entrez SP - 247 EP - 59 JF - International journal of food sciences and nutrition JO - Int J Food Sci Nutr VL - 54 IS - 4 N2 - The fruits (dates) of the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) contain a high percentage of carbohydrate (total sugars, 44-88%), fat (0.2-0.5%), 15 salts and minerals, protein (2.3-5.6%), vitamins and a high percentage of dietary fibre (6.4-11.5%). The flesh of dates contains 0.2-0.5% oil, whereas the seed contains 7.7-9.7% oil. The weight of the seed is 5.6-14.2% of the date. The fatty acids occur in both flesh and seed as a range of saturated and unsaturated acids, the seeds containing 14 types of fatty acids, but only eight of these fatty acids occur in very low concentration in the flesh. Unsaturated fatty acids include palmitoleic, oleic, linoleic and linolenic acids. The oleic acid content of the seeds varies from 41.1 to 58.8%, which suggests that the seeds of date could be used as a source of oleic acid. There are at least 15 minerals in dates. The percentage of each mineral in dried dates varies from 0.1 to 916 mg/100 g date depending on the type of mineral. In many varieties, potassium can be found at a concentration as high as 0.9% in the flesh while it is as high as 0.5% in some seeds. Other minerals and salts that are found in various proportions include boron, calcium, cobalt, copper, fluorine, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, sodium and zinc. Additionally, the seeds contain aluminum, cadmium, chloride, lead and sulphur in various proportions. Dates contain elemental fluorine that is useful in protecting teeth against decay. Selenium, another element believed to help prevent cancer and important in immune function, is also found in dates. The protein in dates contains 23 types of amino acids, some of which are not present in the most popular fruits such as oranges, apples and bananas. Dates contain at least six vitamins including a small amount of vitamin C, and vitamins B(1) thiamine, B(2) riboflavin, nicotinic acid (niacin) and vitamin A. The dietary fibre of 14 varieties of dates has been shown to be as high as 6.4-11.5% depending on variety and degree of ripeness. Dates contain 0.5-3.9% pectin, which may have important health benefits. The world production of dates has increased 2.9 times over 40 years, whereas the world population has doubled. The total world export of dates increased by 1.71% over 40 years. In many ways, dates may be considered as an almost ideal food, providing a wide range of essential nutrients and potential health benefits. SN - 0963-7486 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/12850886/The_fruit_of_the_date_palm:_its_possible_use_as_the_best_food_for_the_future L2 - https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09637480120091982 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -